Michael Henoch was appointed assistant principal oboe of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra by Sir Georg Solti in 1972 while a student at Northwestern University. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from Northwestern University, both awarded with highest honors. His teacher was Ray Still, former principal oboe of the CSO. While a college student, Henoch was a member of the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra for three years.
Henoch’s solo debut at Carnegie Hall with the New York String Orchestra in 1970 led to an invitation from Rudolf Serkin to participate in the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont, where he was principal oboe in the orchestra under the baton of Pablo Casals. Henoch has performed at many other prestigious summer festivals, including Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival and the Carmel Bach Festival in California.
In 1996, Henoch was named the artistic codirector of the Chicago Chamber Musicians (CCM), an ensemble with which he performed since its inception in 1986. Henoch is credited with the idea for CCM’s highly successful Music at the Millennium series, which celebrated 20th-century music in concerts at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art presented each May from 1998 through 2002. In the development of this festival, he worked closely with Pierre Boulez, who served as music advisor. In 2008, Henoch founded Dempster St. Pro Musica, an ensemble dedicated to presenting chamber music concerts of the highest quality in a casual atmosphere.
Henoch has toured extensively throughout North America and Europe as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician, appearing with noted conductors Sir Georg Solti, Daniel Barenboim, David Zinman and Alexander Schneider. He has also performed as principal oboe on more than 50 of the CSO’s recordings, many of them Grammy Award winners. Henoch retired from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 2022 and currently is professor of oboe at the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University.